SAU launches institutionalization of gender sensitization program

Tuesday 07 March 2017 3 months ago 106   Tando Jam   Print

Speakers addressing the seminar at SAU

Report  Web desk : TANDOJAM: Sindh Agriculture University (SAU) Tandojam and Aurat Foundation on Tuesday launched a gender equality program at SAU in collaboration with USAID under the entitled" Institutionalization of gender sensitization and training material in public sector universities." The purpose was to create awareness and sensitization among university students, teaching and non-teaching staff about the women role in the social and economical development. The event attracted a large number of female and male students, faculty members, teaching and non-teaching staff from various departments and representatives of different organizations. Prof Muhammad Ismail Kumbhar, Director University Advancement and Financial Assistance in his introductory remarks said gender equality at socio-economic activism is the only way out to put the country on the path of development. He said Gender Equity Program (GEP) envisions generating widespread societal demand and commitment for a socially just, democratic, caring and gender-responsive society in Pakistan. Where citizens, women and men are are recognized as equal, with the right to lead their lives with self-respect and dignity, he added. The program aims to facilitate behavioral change. In particular, he said it will facilitate citizens active participation in the process of social change and governance at all levels, enabling women to access information, resources and institutions, acquire control over their lives and improve attitudes and behavior towards women and their concerns. Sharing objectives, Prof Ismail Kumbhar said major objective of this project will include empowering gender through capacity building programs and to create awareness and sensitize the faculty, non-teaching staff, students and rural communities in 50 kilometer radius of Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam, regarding gender development through various interventions. These interventions will support to empower the gender at grassroots level. Under this program selected teaching staff, non-teaching staff and communities will be trained so that they may properly understand the gender equity along with how to mainstream the gender aspects into the agricultural syllabus in the university. This component will help to sensitize students, teachers, non-teaching staff and selected communities about gender equity. He shared the activities of this initiative and attached the hope that this will sow the seeds of betterment of the society for future cadre to replicate the same with traditional respect. He said research component is important in which students both graduates and undergraduate will take research subject related with gender equity and identify gender imparities and come up with concrete recommendations. He said they will organize various advocacy campaigns, walks and celebrate important days during the project in the university premises in order to highlight the gender inequalities and issues so that enabling environment in the university may be created where women (i.e. girl students and the teaching staff) may feel safe and comfortable. Sports weeks will be organized during the project period in which girl students and teaching faculty will participate. The activity will help to promote enabling environment for the women in the university to utilize and express their hidden potential in the sports and may feel dignified. Ms Mumtaz Bhatti, teaching in Department of Islamic and Pakistan Studies in the Agriculture University, ponder the light on women issues saying that 70 percent women reside in villages and work in agriculture fields. Despite their contribution in country economy they are unaware about their basic rights, which guaranteed the constitution. She said there may be less than 30 percent women in the society, who get opportunities to have been educated and got jobs in public and private sector. They are contributing to strengthen the social fabric of the society. There is need to put a larger portion of women to put them mainstream in socio-economic and political activities. In this regard, she said students in this university should play role to create awareness among rural women how to get their rights. Ms Tehmina, chairperson Economic Department said the women have been neglected in the society. Role of women cannot be ignored and hope this project will also provide opportunities to students, teaching and non-teaching staff to encourage the women at every level. There should not be discrimination against women on the basis of gender, as they are equal, should live equally and have equal opportunities. This approach may form the better society, which promote gender perspective in education, health and employment. Dr. Maqsood Anwer Rustamani, Dean Faculty of Crop Protection sharing his experiences appreciated the efforts in specific subject and said the students, teaching and non-teaching staff should be taken on board to learn how to behave the act as gender perspective and respect all at work. Dr Saghir Shaikh, Dean Faculty of Crop Production and others also spoke on the occasion. On this occasion Irfan Khalid Marnas, Amir Bangash, Shehzad Essani and Kashif Ali were also present. 02